Cardiff Devils found their scoring touch to defeat Belfast Giants 6-2 at Ice Arena Wales in a dress rehearsal for Sunday’s Challenge Cup final.

The Devils bounced back quickly from the previous night’s defeat in Manchester.

Devils got off to a perfect start, scoring the opening goal on the opening shift of the game.

After an extended period of pressure, Andrew Hotham found Sean Bentivoglio at the side of the net for the redirection past Jackson Whistle to make it 1-0 after 28 seconds.

The Giants came right back with Jeff Mason carrying the puck into the Devils defensive zone and finding Matt Towe who fired the puck past Ben Bowns to tie the game at 1-1 after 2:10 of play.

The period ended with two penalties called against the Giants, first Colin Shields was called for holding with 13 seconds left on the clock, then Ryan Martinelli for cross-checking with three seconds left to play.

The penalties meant the Devils would start the second period with nearly two minutes of a two-man advantage.

The Devils couldn’t convert on the five on three powerplay, but they did score just as the Giants players came back on the ice.

Justin Faryna of Cardiff Devils
Justin Faryna of Cardiff Devils

Layne Ulmer’s shot was saved by Whistle, but the rebound went right to Justin Faryna who buried it to make it 2-1 for the Devils at 22:05.

Less than two minutes later, Bentivoglio had his second goal of the night, with Asselin getting his second assist of the night as well at 23:56 to put the Devils up 3-1.

Patrick Asselin made it 4-1 when Andrew Hotham found him all alone in front of the net and he had enough time to walk around Whistle and tuck the puck into the net at 32:00.

The Giants pulled one back, a blast from Spiro Goulakos that was tipped by Colin Shields after a giveaway by the Devils, at 35:56 to make it 4-2 after 40 minutes of play.

Joey Haddad scored with a cannon of a slapshot to put the Devils up 5-2 at 50:52 then with the clock running down and Belfast’s goalie pulled in favour of the extra attacker, Matt Pope scored into the empty net to complete the scoring at 6-2.

The win gave the Devils a vital two points in both the league and conference standings going into a very important week of hockey with a home game on Friday against the Manchester Storm then the Challenge Cup final on Sunday against the Giants.

On Saturday night the Devils had gone down 3-1 at Manchester Storm despite firing 42 shots at the home net in a battle of the top two in the league.